Luke 5:8, “But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Simon Peter and his fishing companions had been “toiling” all night and had not caught a single fish. Upon hearing Jesus’ suggestion to put out into deeper waters and drop the nets, the fishermen did so and caught so many fish that the nets started breaking. The astonished Peter then uttered the words of our verse this morning. With a great sense of humility, he vocalized his feelings of unworthiness to be in the presence of the Savior Jesus Christ. Peter was not the only New Testament character to feel that way, though
Paul voiced his unworthiness in 1 Corinthians when speaking of the appearance of the Lord after His resurrection. After listing to whom Christ had appeared to in person, he speaks the following words in 1 Cor. 15:8, “Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle because I persecuted the church of God.” Ashamed of his past actions, he could see himself worthy of the lofty title of apostle, yet look at what God had in store for him. He would be the man who would take the Good News to the Gentile world and write the majority of the New Testament books.
And it is not only in the New Testament that men came to that conclusion. Throughout the ages, men have spoken similar words when confronted with the power and majesty of God. In Ex. 3:11, Moses, chosen to the be the liberator of God’s people, Israel, deemed himself unworthy of the task at hand with these words, “…Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” I think it is safe to assume that every man and woman feel that way because of our fallen state. When we think of the times we have doubted Him or have been disobedient and sinned; we cannot feel like we are anything but unworthy.
We are sinners, unworthy of the mercy of the Creator, but He does not see us in that way. God created us in His image. Gen. 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” In His image – nothing less. He did not just slap a few bones together, cover it with flesh and then leave it half-baked, never being able to realize its true potential. He made us so perfectly that He was pleased when he looked upon His creation. If you were unworthy, would He provide for you? Matt. 6:26, “Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Your value to God is so much that He was willing to sacrifice His only Son to give you the opportunity to have the hope of eternal life with Him in heaven.
There are people who are unworthy. Matt. 10:37-38, “Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” I trust you are not one of those people who does not love God first and foremost. If you are, God values you much more than you can imagine. You are His “baby,” and you are never out of His sight. Does that mean everything in life is going to go smoothly? No, it does not, but it does mean that He will give you the courage and strength to overcome the trials of life. Don’t see yourself from your perspective; see yourself through His eyes – you will be amazed at what you find.